04 August 2016

Neighbours: The Portrait Of Mrs Mangel... Who Did It?

Feast your eyes on the above - the divine portrait of Mrs Nell Mangel, painted by Mrs Helen Daniels in 1987. Both ladies, of course, were Ramsay Street fiction, but the re-emergence of the painting in a recent Neighbours storyline and the death of actress Vivean Gray, who was so spendid as Mrs Mangel, have prompted the following e-mail from Keiran:

I enjoyed your post on lovely Vivean Gray and Mrs Mangel. Another Neighbours legend gone! The painting of Mrs Mangel from the 1980s has recently turned up in 21st Century Neighbours. Do you know who really painted it? I don't suppose it was Anne Haddy, who played Helen Daniels?

Hello, Kieran! I can answer part of your question - no, Anne Haddy did not paint the Mangel masterpiece. The actress wanted it to be known in 1988 that the Daniels works were, in reality, the work of somebody "in scenery" and said: "They're awful, aren't they? The most upsetting fan letter I've received was from a little boy who wanted me to paint his dead cat. I had to explain I wasn't a real artist."

Who was the real life artist, then?

If anybody knows the person "in scenery" on Neighbours in 1987 who painted Helen's perceptive character portrait of dear old Nell, please let us know.

It's now an icon of 1980s artwork.

 UPDATE 09 June 2023:

In the 21st Century, the portrait returned to the Neighbours limelight, being displayed at Lassiters Hotel. I hadn't seen the show in years, but squawked with delight when me and my wife happened upon an episode a few years ago and saw it.

But something wasn't quite right. 'Mrs Mangel's hair's grown,' I said to my wife.

'Don't be daft!' said she.

I've finally got round to comparing the 1987 version with the modern day version, and it has. It's grown over her ears a bit and is now feathered down her neck. 

Are there such things as portrait hairdressers, I wonder? Because I suspect dear Nell will be needing a trim soon if this keeps up...


Zounds said...

Hi, Andrew

Interesting blog. Good work. I am writing a novel set in 1983/84, could I cheekily ask for a post about what was popular with teens around that year (if possible)? I have a fair idea as I was a teen myself back then but wanted to see if there was anything I'd forgotten. Thanks!

Drew said...

Hello, Zounds!

You're writing a novel? Sounds interesting. There's a lot on the blog about 1983/1984 already, but if you want a quick rundown of some major pop culture items, I would recommend bulldog clips (1984), Trivial Pursuit (1984), hip-hop/breakdance (1983 and 1984), Cabbage Patch Dolls (late 1983 into 1984), The Apple Mac computer (1984), the ZX Speccy type computer games, Frankie Say... T-shirts (1984), Katharine Hamnett slogan T-shirts (1983 and 1984), lots of talk about George Orwell's novel 1984 for 1984, Brookside ("subversive soap" - highly thought of by left wing youth), Ghostbusters (1984), compact discs (for those that could afford it), VCRs (approaching a quarter of the UK's population had them in 1984, up from 5% in 1980), Atari TV games...

Good luck with your novel.

Unknown said...

Where can I get a copy of this painting? Lol!!!! But seriously, I want it!!!

Unknown said...

Where can I get a copy of this painting? Lol!!!! But seriously, I want it!!!